The person with the second-most Time “100 Most Influential People” appearances on this year’s list is North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Only Chinese president Xi Jinping, appearing in 2017 for the eighth time, is ahead of the 33-year-old DPRK scion, who is included for a seventh time.
Jong-un is also arguably the Time 100 2017 honoree whose latest accomplishments are the most Shakespearean. From the write-up by former U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Christopher Hill:
He is widely believed to have ordered the recent murder of his half-brother Kim Jong-nam with a VX nerve agent in the Kuala Lumpur airport. One of the two female assassins, perhaps reflecting Kim’s reported sense of humor, wore a T-shirt emblazoned with the text lingo LOL.
Coincidentally, U.K.’s The Independent published a piece Wednesday headlined “How North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un, 33, Became One of the World’s Scariest Dictators.” It’s a rundown of familiar highlights and a reminder that this honoree has long led the way when it comes to verified and rumored skullduggery:
Rumors had circulated that Kim Jong Un had received plastic surgery to enhance the resemblance [to grandfather Kim Il Sung] even further, although the North finally responded and called the allegations “sordid hackwork by rubbish media.”
“The false report… released by enemies is a hideous criminal act which the party, state, army and people can never tolerate,” said the official Korean Central News Agency.